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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Election Board Registers 3, Rejects 1

The Central Election Commission officially registered three more presidential hopefuls as candidates Friday, but turned down another's bid to get on the ballot for the June vote.

Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky, retired general Alexander Lebed and eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov each received the commission's stamp of approval, while businessman Artyom Tarasov was rejected.

This brings to seven the number of candidates who have collected at least 1 million signatures and had them approved by the commission, a prerequisite for appearing on the ballot.

Election commission member Olga Zastrozhnaya said 500,000 of the 1.34 million signatures collected for Tarasov were rejected, Interfax reported.

The lists containing the contested signatures will be examined by the Prosecutor General's Office, the agency said.

Tarasov was a prominent entrepreneur during early Russian reforms, but ran afoul of authorities and spent several years abroad. It was not known whether he would appeal the ruling.

The Supreme Court opened hearings Friday on a complaint brought by would-be candidate Martin Shakkum, vice president of the International Reform Foundation. The election commission also refused to register him because of problems with his signature lists.

According to the electoral laws, a candidate cannot begin official campaigning until he is registered.

Vladimir Broginsky, press secretary to Yavlinsky, said Friday the Yabloko leader plans "electoral trips and addresses on his platform and program," but said he had no details as yet.

Following his registration, Yavlinsky told reporters negotiations with Lebed and Fyodorov about a coalition are "going successfully."

"We are managing to find the correct combination of interests to create for the first time in Russian history such a political coalition, but it will not be simple," Interfax quoted Yavlinsky as saying.

Earlier, billionaire businessman Vladimir Bryntsalov successfully appealed his rejection by the election commission to the Supreme Court. The prosecutor general, however, has kept him off the Ballot for the time being by initiating a further review.